Nesting: Photos, Paintings, Memories

Memories are stored in our hearts and our heads. Memories can be prompted by sights, sounds, smells, photographs, and paintings. As I’ve shared before, the many friends and family members who “live” in my house are here because of their paintings, hand-made beautiful works, and photographs of our times together. Some might call the totality of these objects clutter; I see them as love, laughter, and stories surrounding me every day.

Photos capture moments of experience and split seconds in time. Photos evoke memories of those moments, experiences, and times. Technologically, photos take a split second to take. Memorable images can be snapped in a second or painstakingly arranged, propped, and set up over a period of days and years.

Photos used to be printed, put into frames and albums. Now that physical photos are not printed so often and kept in electronic devices or in “the cloud”, the sheer volume of images can be overwhelming. Creation of favorite albums or themed albums helps people sort, organize, and share. Grandparent brag books are now held in phones. Trip photos are too. What matters is that these photos remind us of others, remind us of where we’ve been, and remind us of who we are.

Paintings capture ideas, stories, moments, even years. Paintings take time to create. Paintings can be realistic or wildly imaginative. Paintings and hand-made works embody the thoughts and cares of their creators as a result of the amount of time invested and the work and re-work that leads to the final works. Paintings from centuries ago hold color, life and landscape depictions that remain incredibly vibrant. Paintings throughout the ages convey varying concrete and abstract images meant to evoke ideas, memories, and emotions. Paintings in my home remind me of friends, of places they’ve been or that I’ve been, and simply bring me joy.

Stories prompted by our photos and paintings are abundant. Stories convey funny happenings, memories, and static moments. Stories create opportunities to connect to ourselves and other human beings. Stories can establish commonality, empathy, and joy. Stories can also create division, upset, and hurt. Stories are the fabric that holds us together, gives rise to conversation and change, and that keeps us warm and hopeful or leaves us cold and hurt. Stories are choices. Stories are as powerful as we allow them to be to us. Stories come from memories and from imaginations. Stories change us or they float on by. Stories change the world, or they fall flat. With or without any change being created, stories have power.

What power are you bringing into your life through photos, paintings, and memories? Which photos and paintings evoke memories for you? What stories can you pause to tell? How will you feel? How will others feel?

Today’s image:  Garden roses in a bouquet add joy to the dining room. Photo reminder of memories created by Jana Kemp.

Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for and creation of a deep sense of home. –Jana

Jana Kemp

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